Francisco Tropa

Born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1968
Lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal

Francisco Tropa was born in 1968, and works and lives in Lisbon. 

Time, tales and formal aesthetics are the main elements of his work. The artist links stories together, retelling mythologies, technologies, science and societies. Tropa uses several media – sculpture, drawing, performance, engraving, installation, photography and film — to convey a seri es of reflections catalysed by the different traditions of sculpture and science. His installations abound in precise and precious objects, geometric and elaborate forms, delicate prototypes and complex machines. His pieces are most clearly underpinned by the notion of time. Time is also decisive in the studio work by the artist, who sometimes develops his projects over several years. 

Besides representing Portugal in the Venice Biennale (2011), he also took part in the Rennes Biennial (2012), the Istanbul Biennial (2011), Manifesta (2000), the Melbourne Biennial (1999) and the São Paulo Biennial (1998). Some of his recent solo exhibitions include: The Lung and the Heart, Musée d’art moderne de Paris, France (2022); Che Vuoi?, Le Creux de l’Enfer, Thiers, France (2022); Behind us, MUCEM, Marseille, France (2020); The Pyrgus from Chaves, Fundaçào Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal (2019); Performance Scripta, Centre National de la Danse, Paris, France (2018); Performance Gigante, Festival MOVE, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2018); TSAE - Trésors Submergés de l’Ancienne Égypte, Musée Régional d’Art Contemporain Languedoc- Roussillon, Sérignan, France (2015); TSAE - Tesouros Submersos do Antigo Egipto, Museu de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal (2014-2015); STAE - Submerged Treasures of Ancient Egypt, La Verrière, Fondation d’Entreprise Hermès, Brussels, Belgium (2013).

"Portuguese artist Francisco Tropa (his country’s representative at the 2011 Venice Biennale) is the author of a complex body of work, freely combining a broad range of techniques, from the most basic skills to virtuoso tours de force. Mixing art and technical ingenuity, Tropa’s creative vision embraces prototypes and machines, but also paintings, screen prints, photography and performance. The result is a ‘world’ very much his own, nourished by diverse sources including a rigorously antihierarchical array of references, figures from the ancient and modern worlds, science and magic." (Text by Guillaume Désanges)